Treaty of Bucharest (1918)
The Treaty of Bucharest (1918) was a peace treaty between Romania on the one side and the Central Powers on the other, following the stalemate reached after the campaign of 1916–17 left Romania isolated after Russia's unilateral exit from World War I (see Treaty of Brest-Litovsk). Alexandru Marghiloman, then Prime Minister of Romania, signed the treaty at Buftea, near Bucharest on 7 May 1918 and it was ratified by the Chamber of Deputies on 28 June and by the Senate on 4 July 1918. However, King Ferdinand refused to sign or promulgate it.
Romanian Prime-Minister Alexandru Marghiloman signing the treaty
|Signed||7 May 1918|
|Condition||Ratification by Romania and the Central Powers|
|Signatories|| German Empire|
|Languages||German, Romanian, Hungarian, Bulgarian, Ottoman Turkish|
- Romania returned Southern Dobruja (the Cadrilater) and ceded the southern part of Northern Dobruja (see maps) to Bulgaria. The rest of the province (starting south of Cernavodă-Constanța railroad up to the Danube and the Sfântu Gheorghe branch, thus leaving the Danube Delta to Romania) remained under the joint Central Powers control. The Central Powers guaranteed the commercial road to the Black Sea for Romania by way of Cernavodă and Constanța.
- Romania gave to Austria-Hungary control of the passes of the Carpathian Mountains (see maps).
- Romania leased its oil wells to Germany for 90 years.
- The Central Powers recognized the Union of Bessarabia with Romania.
- German civil servants with the power to veto decisions by Romanian cabinet ministers and to fire Romanian civil servants were appointed to oversee every Romanian ministry, in effect stripping Romania of its independence.
The treaty put Romania in a unique situation compared to other German occupied countries. It completely respected Romania's de jure independence, as it did not impose any form of vassalage or protectorate over Romania, and even though the country had to cede land, it still emerged bigger than before entering the war, after the Union with Bessarabia.
Germany was able to repair the oil fields around Ploiești and by the end of the war had pumped a million tons of oil. They also requisitioned two million tons of grain from Romanian farmers. These materials were vital in keeping Germany in the war to the end of 1918.
Although Bulgaria received a part of Northern Dobruja, it continued to lobby Germany and Austria-Hungary for the annexation of the whole province, including the condominium established by the Treaty of Bucharest. After negotiations, a protocol regarding the transfer of the jointly administered zone in Northern Dobruja to Bulgaria was signed in Berlin on 25 September 1918, by Germany, Austria-Hungary, the Ottoman Empire and Bulgaria. In return, Bulgaria agreed to cede the left bank of the Maritsa river to Turkey. However, this agreement was short-lived: four days later, on 29 September, Bulgaria capitulated in the face of the advancing Allied forces (see also the Armistice of Salonica).
The treaty was denounced in October 1918 by the Marghiloman government. Romania re-entered the war on 10 November 1918, the day before it ended in Western Europe, and the 1918 Treaty of Bucharest was nullified by the Armistice of 11 November 1918. In 1919, Germany was forced in the Treaty of Versailles to renounce all the benefits provided by the 1918 Treaty of Bucharest. The territorial transfers to Austria-Hungary and Bulgaria were annulled by the Treaty of Saint-Germain-en-Laye (1919), and the Treaty of Neuilly-sur-Seine (1919), respectively; and the Treaty of Trianon (1920) settled Romania's border with Hungary.
Map of Dobruja (areas in light blue, orange and pink were annexed by Bulgaria, area in yellow was to be administered jointly by the Central Powers)
Romanian territories ceded to Austria-Hungary (purple), Bulgaria (blue) and the Central Powers (green) through the Treaty of Bucharest. These changes were reversed by the Treaty of Versailles
The situation on the Eastern Front in March 1918 (after the completion of the Operation Faustschlag)
Foreign Minister of Austria-Hungary, Stephan Burián von Rajecz, signing the treaty
- "Article XXX of the Treaty". Retrieved 10 August 2017.
- "Article X of the Treaty". Retrieved 17 September 2017.
- Tarján, M. Tamás. "1918. május 7. - Románia és a központi hatalmak aláírják a bukaresti békét". www.rubicon.hu. Rubiconline.
- R. J. Crampton, Eastern Europe in the twentieth century, Routledge, 1994, ISBN 978-0-415-05346-4, p. 24–25
- Kitchen, Martin "Hindenburg, Ludendorff and Rumania" pages 214-222 from The Slavonic and East European Review, Volume 54, Issue # 2, April 1976 page 223.
- John Keegan, World War I, pg. 308
- Armistice convention of 11 November 1918 (PDF), 11 November 1918, retrieved 17 November 2017, Article XV.
- Articles 248–263 - World War I Document Archive